Significant and emotional, saying I do is the most important part of your wedding day. So shouldn't your ceremony be just as unique as the party? We went right to the experts for the most inspiring ceremonial touches around: that's right, real couples like you! These brides and grooms turn the standard ceremony into something spectacular.
1. Lemonade Stand
Paige and Marc, who wed on a ranch, chose a lemon theme to ensure a cheery celebration. Just before the ceremony, the couple served lemonade in big glass jars to quench guests' thirst under the hot summer sun.
2. Unity Sand
At their destination beach wedding
, Lisa and Mike, who both spent many summers under the boardwalk, extinguished the unity candle idea and instead chose to combine symbolic cups of sand from their respective hometowns.
3. Breezy Read
Summer brides, take note: Jennifer and David's fan-shaped wedding programs
did double duty listing the wedding party and ceremony details-and cooling off guests.
4. Hung out to Dry
Guests crossing a bridge to Becky and Aaron's ceremony had a good chuckle at the couple's childhood photos strung along a clothesline.
5. Shoeless Suitor
When Suzanne and Tripp's Jewish ceremony concluded, the "boot boy" presented a barefoot Tripp with yes, a boot, so the groom could smash the glass at their ceremony. Mazel tov!
6. Irish Blessing
Pamela and Tom's ceremony ended with the blessing of a Celtic cross, brought back from a family trip, which now hangs in their home.
7. Lucky Lady
When it was time for Elisa and David to exchange their self-written vows, the best man flipped a coin to see who would go first (it was the groom!).
8. Bribing the Bearer
Cristina and Mike's two-year-old ring bearer was a little aisle shy. So the groom did what anyone would-bribed him with candy. From the altar, Mike flashed a bag of jellybeans to coax the young boy down the aisle. Naturally, it worked.
9. Send & Deliver
Blakely and Chris' gorgeous hand-sewn programs not only included details about the wedding party (including a lengthy children's procession) and Greek Orthodox traditions, it listed their new contact information for guests to keep in touch!
10. Ceremony Cheers
Take the toast up a notch with a champagne cocktail. At Elaine and Kevin's wedding, guests were given glasses of bubbly garnished with strawberries as they entered the ceremony space.
11. Exceptional Pets
Who says weddings aren't for the dogs? Animal lovers Clayton and Andrew asked the bride's mom to escort two four-legged friends, outfitted with flowers, down the aisle.
12. Homemade Huppah
From the handcrafted woodworking of Meet the Parents fame to treasured heirloom quilts, our brides get pretty crafty with the traditional Jewish huppah. Our favorite sentimental touch? Joanna and Scott sewed together old handkerchiefs from all eight of their grandparents to create their wedding canopy.
13. Baker's Duo
Andrea and John gave rise to a new tradition: Several days before their Catholic ceremony, the couple got busy in the kitchen and baked the communion bread themselves.
14. Welcome Committee
In lieu of a receiving line, Maribeth and Erik threw tradition out the door and greeted guests arriving at the church. Even though many were surprised to see the bride before the ceremony, it helped calm Maribeth's down-the-aisle stage fright.
15. Personal Petals
Elizabeth honored her deceased father, a huge University of Tennessee fan, with a bouquet of bright orange roses-the school's signature color.
16. Holiday Spirit
Ebenezer Scrooge definitely didn't make the cut on this guest list. Before the start to Amy and Shawn's Christmas celebration, guests were welcomed into the barn where the ceremony was held with hot cocoa, holiday cookies, and Christmas carols.
17. Fountain of Youth
Emily and Sean stocked a child's red wagon with monogrammed water bottles and tied a glass to every seat at their outdoor ceremony.
18. Not-So Empty Nest
For their intimate garden-theme wedding, Joiye and Gino's rings were nestled in a delicate bird's nest woven with pale peach roses and green ribbons.
19. Bug Off
Rachel and Chris made sure guests were well equipped for the outdoor ceremony with a welcome basket filled with bug spray.
20. Exit with a Pop
Following a performance by a quartet of professional singers, actors Kendra and Eric exited the church in a shower of rather fitting theater popcorn. At Lauren and Scott's ceremony, guests were handed personalized kazoos and party horns to blow on the steps of the church.